How To Survive A Night In Your Car

Photo by Alex E. Proimos

It’s a harrowing statistic, but according to the National Weather Service, about 70 percent of winter weather-related fatalities occur in an automobile. You can bet many of those vehicle-related deaths began with someone simply leaving the house to run an errand, make a short trip to visit family or friends or take care of routine business. The weather turns unexpectedly bad, road conditions rapidly deteriorate and, suddenly, what was an ordinary drive becomes an overnight ordeal.

Don’t think just because you don’t live in New England, the upper Midwest or the western mountains that something like this can’t happen to you. Even in areas where snow is a rare event, cars can slide off icy roads and become stranded in freezing weather, leaving passengers stuck right there with them. Here’s how to make it through a freezing night in your car and ride out events until help can arrive.

Be Prepared

The first thing to do as winter approaches is be sure you have stored a few key items in your car. If you wait until you need them to try to round them up, it will be too late. Essential items to include in a winter survival kit, according to a combination of recommendations by Wisconsin Emergency Management’s Ready Wisconsin initiative and survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt’s OutdoorSafe website, include:

  • Bottled water (at least four quarts)
  • Snack foods, particularly nutritious energy bars
  • Raisins, dried fruit, nuts, candy bars
  • Strike-anywhere, waterproof matches and small candles
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Folding knife and multi-tool
  • Emergency flares
  • An extra winter coat, mittens and a wool cap
  • Winter boots
  • Toilet paper
  • Cellphone and charger
  • A space blanket
  • A spare blanket or sleeping bag
  • A portable radio with spare batteries
  • Tow rope
  • Nylon cord
  • Flagging tape
  • Chemical hand and body warmer packets

Other essential winter tools in severe weather country include jumper cables, the best small shovel, tire chains and rock salt, sand or kitty litter to provide added traction when stuck on a slick surface.

Before You Go

If you’re leaving for an extended trip, always check weather and road conditions before departing. If poor conditions are forecast, you may consider postponing your trip. Also, let others know when you are leaving, which way you will be traveling and when you should arrive at your destination so they can alert authorities and provide them with solid information to help in finding you should the need arise. Fill your car with fuel and make frequent stops to stretch, relax and refill your tank, never allowing it to get much below a half tank. Should you become stuck and need to spend the night in your car, the ample gas will allow you to start your car throughout the night and run the heat for short intervals.

If You Are Stranded

First call for help if you can’t get your car unstuck. Don’t overexert yourself and don’t leave your car and begin walking for help. You stand a much better chance of being found if you remain with your car, which can also provide the best shelter from the elements. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety warns against running your car constantly. Instead, be sure the exhaust pipe is free from snow and roll down a window enough to vent the car and prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Run the car for short 15-20 minute intervals to warm up and then turn it back off, using blankets, a sleeping bag, hand warmers and the body heat of others in your car to stay warm. Eat snacks to keep nourished and read a book (another item Kummerfeldt recommends) until help arrives.

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5 Prep Tips to Keep Your Family Safe from a Wildfire

Wildfires

Image from Skeeze via Pixabay

It doesn’t matter how small the likelihood of a wildfire is for your area–when it hits, you want to be ready. So even if you think the chances of a wildfire in your area are moderate to low, know that it’s better to spend a bit of extra time now preparing yourself and your family than to be thrown into a state of panic should a wildfire ever hit.

 

  1. Keep Up with Regular Home Maintenance

 

There are a few chores you can do regularly to help lessen the effects of a wildfire on your home. Minimize the amount of debris around your property by cleaning the roof and gutters, raking away leaves and dead limbs, mowing your grass, and making sure your trees and shrubs are pruned regularly.

 

  1. Stay Informed

 

Educate yourself on the fire conditions in your area and stay in the know on breaking weather news. Watch the news regularly, check the weather online, or download a weather app for your phone. Turn on notifications for your weather app so you’ll know of any risk of a wildfire in an instant. Ask your child’s caretaker or school about their disaster plans so you can rest assured that your child will be in good hands if disaster ever strikes.

 

  1. Compile Your Emergency Supply Kit

 

Build your family’s emergency supply kit and include items like a compass, clean drinking water, nonperishable foods, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, and copies of important documents.

 

It’s also wise to document all of your belongings and keep a copy of this list in your kit. This will come in handy for insurance claims or for receiving aid from charitable organizations. Include descriptions and photos of furniture, appliances, electronics, and other valuable belongings. Collect any relevant serial numbers or receipts.

 

  1. Create a Plan

 

In a time of crisis, clear communication can be the best tool in your toolkit. That’s why you should make it a priority to talk to your family about what you’ll do in case of a wildfire. Practice designated evacuation routes. Discuss what actions should be taken if a family member is separated from the group. Make sure children (and adults!) have necessary emergency numbers memorized.

 

  1. Know Where You Stand with Insurance

 

Fire damage can be a tricky topic when it comes to insurance coverage, so it’s better to know your plan’s limitations ahead of time. Insurance may not cover certain landscaping costs following a fire, or may only cover a certain percentage of damaged personal items. You may even want to increase your coverage depending on your area’s level of risk for wildfires. Check with your agent to see what your coverage entails.

 

It may sound like a bit of a hassle to prepare yourself and your family for a wildfire even when one may never hit, but don’t underestimate the power of having a plan of action during a moment of crisis. It’s better to make plans now and never have to use them than to come up short should disaster strike. Prepare now and you’ll be glad you kept your family’s safety in mind.

 

Bradley Davis is a retired firefighter and SoCal resident. He has seen is fair share of natural disasters and knows all too well the damage they can cause when people in their paths aren’t prepared. He created DisasterWeb.net to share his emergency preparedness knowledge and to offer the many emergency planning and natural disaster-related resources he has compiled from his online research. When he isn’t adding new information to his site, Bradley enjoys relaxing on the beach with his wife.


30 Things To Include In Your Camping & Wilderness Survival Pack

This is a great starter list for packing a camping or hiking bag. Many of the items cross over to a survival bug-out bag as well.

Top 30 Essential Tips For Your Camping & Wilderness Survival

Source: GroomNStyle | 30 Things To Include In Your Survival Pack


DIY – Make your own Survival Garden – Patriot Direct

When designing a survival garden, it’s essential to understand what seeds to get and what to skip — and it’s just as important to

Great article for understanding the proper balance of plants you will need to grow to survive. One must take into account calories and nutritional values that you would need to sustain yourself.

Source: DIY – Make your own Survival Garden – Patriot Direct


Do you know what basics you need to survive an Apocalypse?

Do you know what you need in an Apocalypse?!

 

This infographic shows you what to have handy.

 

What You

 


Why Prepare?

There are real benefits to being prepared.

  • Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fi and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.
  • People also can reduce the impact of disasters (flood proofing, elevating a home or moving a home out of harm’s way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.

The need to prepare is real.

  • Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.
  • If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.
  • You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area—hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.
  • You should also be ready to be self-suffi cient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.

Using this guide makes preparation practical. > Are You Ready? Why Prepare.


What’s The Difference Between Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Foods?

Freeze dried foods are flash frozen and then dried.
Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavor. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.  Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport. For example, 3kg of chicken weighs only 1kg after freeze drying, and rapidly rehydrates back to its original weight. Freeze drying is generally more expensive then dehydrating. To create freeze dried food, the food item is first flash frozen and then low level heat is applied inside a vacuum chamber. Doing this dehydrates the food item and results in a dried product. After that the food item is packed for long-term storage. Freeze drying retains the color, texture, shape, flavor, and nutrition of the food item.
Dehydrated Foods are top-quality foods, that have been picked at their ripeness, cleansed and trimmed to leave only the best parts.These choice foods are then dehydrated, where 98% of their moisture is removed. This is done by a highly sophisticated drying process. They are then packed in heavy-duty enameled cans, and sealed with a special inert atmosphere to ensure the longest possible storage life.

Because their bulk and weight have been greatly reduced, dehydrated foods are more compact and convenient for storing and require very little space. They offer quick mobility in the event of an evacuation alert. For example, one case of regular canned food weighs approximately 24 pounds. The same item of dehydrated foods would weigh from 36 to 45 ounces, and would be packed in just one #10 can. Dehydrated foods have approximately double the yield of regular canned foods even though their cost is much lower.

Most of us already eat dehydrated foods daily. Foods like pasta, cereal, beans, cake and baking mixes, as well as many fast foods. In dehydrating foods, water is slowly removed by cooking it out of the food item, without cooking the food itself.


You can see how the Freeze drying process works:

Freeze drying is a process which is suitable for a wide variety of industrial products. These include agrochemicals, pharmaceutical intermediates, biological products, foods and flavorings.

The purpose of freeze drying is to remove a solvent (usually water) from dissolved or dispersed solids. It is an excellent method for preserving materials that are unstable in the presence of water. In addition, freeze drying can be used to separate and recover volatile substances and to purify materials.

The freeze drying process is particularly suitable for products which are sensitive to heat, subject to oxidation, or shear sensitive.

Freeze Drying Process” title=
Once freeze dried,food products have the following benefits:

  • Appearance – Freeze dried foods maintain their original shape and texture, unlike air dried foods which shrink and shrivel due to high temperature processing. Just add water and in minutes the food rehydrates to its original form.
  • Taste – Tastes as good as fresh. Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavour. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.
  • Weight – Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport. For example, 3kg of chicken weighs only 1kg after freeze drying, and rapidly rehydrates back to its original weight.
  • Long Shelf Life – Freeze dried foods can be stored for months or years at room temperature without deterioration or spoilage.
  • Low Storage Costs – Because it can be stored at room temperature, freeze dried food does not require costly cold or chilled storage facilities, making it much cheaper to store.

More long term food storage…

 

On A Budget: Prepping For 5 Bucks

 

Unless you have deep pockets, and most people don’t, you are going to have to purchase and store your prepping supplies a little at a time.  When your at the store buying clothes for your kids, pick up a pack of batteries.  When you are out picking up dinner at the grocery store, don’t forget to grab a couple of cans of soup.  You get the picture.

How to stretch your prepping dollars

With all this in mind, here is a list of items that you can start buying when your out and about to add to your prepping supplies that will cost you right around 5 bucks.  You would be surprised at how much stuff you can amass when you think to pick up a few extra things a few times a week.

Add in some Aldi coupon codes and your entire grocery bill will shrink, allowing you to save money or get extra supplies.

(Note:  This list comes from other posts and articles of read over time with a couple of items I have added from my own experience.  If you have got any suggestions, please leave a comment and share your knowledge. )

(Note:  I’m aware that the dollar has been devalued such that some items on this list may now far exceed the 5 dollar limit.  Adjust quantities accordingly.)

  • Five packages of instant potatoes
  • A case of ramen noodles (20 pkgs)
  • Five cans of sardines
  • Five gallons of purified water
  • Case of bottled water
  • Four cans of canned fruit
  • 2 jars of mandarin oranges
  • Five pounds of rice
  • Three pounds of spaghetti
  • Two cans of spaghetti sauce
  • Three bags of egg noodles
  • 8 packages of gravy mix
  • Four cans of whole or sliced new potatos
  • Three cans of g veggies
  • Two cans of Yams
  • Six cans of pork and beans
  • One 40 ounce can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew
  • Two 12 ounce cans of chicken, tuna or roast beef
  • One 1lb canned ham
  • Three cans of refried beans
  • Three 12 oz cans of raviolis or spaghetti O’s.
  • Two 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon
  • Five pounds of Oatmeal
  • Four packages Dinty Moore heat and eat meals
  • 5 packages of corn bread mix
  • Four pounds of Sugar
  • Five pound of Flour
  • 1.5 quarts of cooking oil
  • Three one pound bags of dry beans
  • 2 cans of apple juice
  • 1 jar of peanut butter
  • Two boxes of yeast
  • Two bags of generic breakfast cereal
  • 10 8 oz cans of tomato paste/tomato sauce
  • Four cans of soup
  • 4 cans of Chunky soup
  • 8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
  • Two bottles of garlic powder or other spices
  • Two boxes of kool aid
  • A can of coffee
  • 2 bottles of powdered coffee creamer
  • One manual can opener
  • Two bottles of camp fuel stove
  • 100 rounds of .22lr ammo
  • 25 rounds of 12 ga birdshot or small game loads
  • 20 rounds of Monarch 7.62×39 ammo
  • Spool of 12lb test monofilament fishing line
  • 2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks.
  • Artificial lure
  • Two packages of soft plastic worms
  • Three Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
  • A package of tea lights
  • 50 ft of para cord
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Box of nails or other fasteners
  • Two D-batteries, four AA or AAA batteries or two 9v batteries
  • Travel toothbrush and tooth paste
  • Bag of disposable razors
  • Eight bars of ivory soap (it floats)
  • Box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
  • Gallons of bleach
  • Needles and thread
  • Ball of yarn
  • 2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
  • 2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
  • 2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)
  • 4 bottles 500 count 325 mg aspirin
  • 2 boxes of generic sudafed
  • 4 bottles of alcohol
  • a box of bandages (4×4)
Whether it’s $5 or $500 you have to spend per month, just start prepping a little bit at a time and it will add up. When I started I used my camping gear as my base and built from there. No matter how much you have to spend you CAN survive if you put your mind to it.
Knowledge is free. Be sure to bookmark our site and follow us on Facebook for future articles, and if you have some time check out some of our past survival blog articles.

 

 

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